Colorado club shooting survivor ''I want to be resilient''

    Colorado Springs, Nov 22 (AP) Ed Sanders was just opening up a tab at Club Q's bar when the shooting started.
     The 63-year-old said he had been waiting in line at the bar, and made his way up to the front and gave the bartender his credit card when he was hit in the back — right between the shoulder blades.
     Surprised and shocked, he turned to look at the gunman, only to be hit again in the thigh as another volley of shots were fired.
     “I fell. And everybody fell,” Sanders said in video statements released Tuesday by UCHealth Memorial Hospital Center.
     “It was very traumatic. I shielded another woman with my coat … there was a lot of chaos.”
     Five people were killed and 17, including Sanders, were left with gunshot wounds after police say a 22-year-old man went on a shooting rampage Saturday night at Club Q, a well-known gathering place for the LGBTQ community in Colorado Springs. The shooting stopped when the man was disarmed by patrons.
     Police have not released a motive for the attack, and the man has not been formally charged, but police say he was armed with multiple firearms, including an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle, and possible hate crimes are being considered.
     “I want to be resilient. I'm a survivor," Sanders said. "I'm not going to be taken out by some sick person.”
     Sanders has been a patron of Club Q for 20 years and even went to the club's opening night decades ago. He wore a hospital gown and had an oxygen tube in his nose in the video recorded by the hospital.
     He said that after the 2016 Pulse gay nightclub shooting in Florida, which killed 49 people, Sanders thought about what he would do if something similar happened at Club Q — but he never dreamed it would become reality.
     “I'm smiling now because I am happy to be alive,” Sanders said. “I dodged a major event in my life and came through it, and that's part of who I am as a survivor.”
     Sanders knew many of the victims, including the “door lady” and the two bartenders who died. Sanders said that after the shooting, people who weren't hit were helping each other “just like a family would do.”
     Sanders said he felt amazed that he could sit up and walk, and also “that I'm alive — because the two bartenders were right to the right of me that were killed.”
     Sanders said the shot to his back missed vital organs but broke a rib. He said he now has a concave wound in his back and will need skin grafts. Sanders was also shot in the thigh, and said “that was the most blood.”
     “I think this incident underlines the fact that LGBT people need to be loved,” Sanders said. (AP) VM

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)